Image of ethereal-looking neural network... or something

What does it mean to “think like a programmer”?

I’ve had some students ask me what it means to “think like a programmer”. Totally valid question, particularly because it’s quite a nebulous definition. I actually thought deeply about this, and wanted to find real life examples of what it looks like.

So, I created a list of traits I generally see in people who think programmatically.

Mind you, I don’t hit all of these! ????But it was a question I found I really needed to address in my upcoming course, Newbie Coder Problem Solving School.

Personally, I’ve recognized certain programmatic thinking traits in myself, some stronger than others. Maybe this is why people who see the world this way—especially neuroatypical/neurodiverse folks—often find programming so attractive! ????

Traits of programmatic thinkers

So, here’s a list of traits/thinking you might see associated with someone who “thinks like a programmer”. (and I’d love to hear any more you come up with!)

  1. Curious about how things work.
  2. Wants to fix things that don’t work.
  3. Automatically thinks of situations in which something *wouldn’t* work (what we would consider edge/corner cases)
  4. Envisions themselves creating things to accomplish various tasks.
  5. Sees problems as a challenge and opportunity for growth, not an obstacle.
  6. Tends to see many options where those who don’t think programmatically see few or none.
  7. Sees complex things and wants to break or whittle them down into smaller, simpler bits.
  8. Can quickly spot redundancy.
  9. Has great appreciation for:
    1. Effectiveness: making things work well
    2. Efficiency: making them work quickly
    3. Automation: building processes
  10. Able to come up with solutions on their own—and may be addicted to the rush that comes with it! ????
  11. Sees (and hears) patterns in the world.
  12. Willing to start small with the goal of building upward as their skills and knowledge grows
  13. Tends to try lots of different ways to solve a problem on their own before asking for help.
  14. You might have some rogue tendencies (haha I know I do!!) if you see a better option than what’s being given to you.
Nicole

Note-Taking for Self-Taught Students

How to take exceptional notes while teaching yourself As self-taught students, we are becoming attuned to our learning strengths in a way that traditionally-taught students may

Nicole

Having a Productive Creative Day

Creative days are the days where I just dump things from my brain, without editing. Here’s what I do to relax, focus, and let the creative juices flow.

LaunchPad Scavenger Hunt

HOW TO PLAY

Rockets are scattered across the website, waiting for you to find them! Each rocket grants 20 coins. 

When you find one, click it to receive your reward! Rockets reset every day.

ROCKETS DISAPPEAR IN

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

[gamipress_leaderboard_user_position id=”69390″ current_user=”yes” text=”You are in position {position}!” not_ranked_text=”You’re not yet ranked—go find some rockets!“]

[gamipress_leaderboard title="" id="69390" hide_admins="yes"]

Just one more step to download I Want to Learn to Code—Now What!

Total transparency: You’ll get your guide, and also be subscribed to my dope weekly newsletter, Life in Code.

You can always unsubscribe (but I don’t think you’ll want to). :)

Just one more step to download 10 Things You Need to Learn BEFORE Learning to Code!

Total transparency: You’ll get your guide, and also be subscribed to my dope weekly newsletter, Life in Code.

You can always unsubscribe (but I don’t think you’ll want to). :)

Just one more step to download 5 Steps to Solving Code Challenges!

Total transparency: You’ll get your guide, and also be subscribed to my dope weekly newsletter, Life in Code.

You can always unsubscribe (but I don’t think you’ll want to). :)